Teads: Delivering data insights on 100 billion events daily for better advertising effectiveness

About Teads

Teads works with some of the best publishers in the world and distributes advertising to over 1.4 billion people every month within professionally produced content. The company’s end-to-end platform delivers full-funnel, outcome-oriented advertising powered by cutting-edge creative technology and AI-driven optimization.

Industries: Technology
Location: France

Teads implements BigQuery with Cloud Dataflow and Cloud Storage to power greater insights into customers' ad campaigns, simplifying database maintenance and opening up new revenue streams.

Google Cloud Results

  • Enables cross-querying of data from 100 billion daily events with BigQuery, feeding into more detailed customer reports
  • Keeps costs manageable, with same level of spend over two years despite annual 50% growth in the business
  • Reduces database maintenance with managed services, enabling the data analysis team to focus on developing new products

2TB of data pre-aggregated in minutes with BigQuery

Outstream, a form of video advertising invented by Teads in 2011, is a growing area of the digital video market: outstream and social infeed videos accounted for 52 percent of video ad spend in 2017. "With outstream, ad content sits among editorial content, rather than playing before or after another video. It's much less frustrating for the user," explains Alban Perillat-Merceroz, Software Engineering Manager at Teads. "Initially, Teads' service was built around this innovative format, but as outstream has become more widespread, Teads' offering has grown beyond video to become the global media platform, raising quality standards in the whole industry."

With 29 offices across 21 countries, Teads works with some of the world's highest profile media players, including the BBC, The Economist, Welt, and El Pais. "We offer clients an end-to-end platform. Advertisers have the tools to make the most impactful ads, as well as schedule and optimize their campaigns. We also work with publishers so they can monetize their editorial content with the best user experience possible." says Alban. "Advertisers and publishers both need to have detailed insights on the ads we deliver. That's where our big data infrastructure comes into play."

"Teads is a fast-growing company, with year-on-year growth of around 50 percent. Our infrastructure needs to be robust enough to deal with the volumes of data we handle, and to continue to evolve with our changing business needs."

Alban Perillat-Merceroz, Software Engineering Manager, Teads

In order to be able to analyze how its ads play to its 1.4 billion unique users, Teads' system tracks and processes large volumes of data. With its previous database, it was not able to cross-query all the groupings in order to offer the necessary level of detail to its users. Its database infrastructure was complex and difficult to scale. Migrating its database to BigQuery on Google Cloud Platform offered a solution.

"Teads is a fast-growing company, with year-on-year growth of around 50 percent," says Alban. "Our infrastructure needs to be robust enough to deal with the volumes of data we handle, and to continue to evolve with our changing business needs."

More detail, better insights

When your business relies on providing insights so clients can improve their campaigns — which are often broad reaching and multiple — the database powering your system needs to be able to handle large volumes of data. "In terms of raw data, we work with around 2TB a day. That data is fed, then pre-aggregated into BigQuery," says Alban. "We receive around 10 billion tracking events daily, that tell us how viewers interact with ads, as well as around 90 billion events related to real-time ad auctions with our programmatic partners."

"With our previous database, there were connections between dimensions in relation to the tracking data that we just couldn't make, in order to cross-reference the data according to device and to browser, for example,” Alban continues. “The cardinality of the data was too big, and we couldn't store it all in the same place." That limited the information Teads could serve to clients via dashboards and reports, so it looked for a database that would enable it to provide its clients with more insights.

To do that, it moved its database from its current cloud provider to BigQuery. "Thanks to BigQuery, we can achieve the unified aggregation we require, and because every dimension is compatible, we can access the level of detail we need," says Alban. "We also use Cloud Dataflow in batch mode to feed data into BigQuery and Cloud Storage for our internal storage needs. Once the data has been pre-aggregated in BigQuery, we then query it from our analytics service to generate business-oriented data, such as spreadsheet reports or web dashboards."

"What we like most about BigQuery is the way it combines processing power with simplicity. As it's based on SQL, it's very easy to work with and as it's fully managed, we spend very little time on operational tasks."

Alban Perillat-Merceroz, Software Engineering Manager, Teads

"There's a cost involved in moving the data between clouds as parts of our ad delivery infrastructure, which is hosted elsewhere, but that cost is mitigated by the performance we can achieve with BigQuery," says Alban. "Because we handle very large volumes, we are able to access a flat-rate plan that is very cost efficient."

"What we like most about BigQuery is the way it combines processing power with simplicity," says Alban. "As it's based on SQL, it's very easy to work with and as it's fully managed, we spend very little time on operational tasks."

Developing new revenue streams

BigQuery has also helped to enable new revenue streams for Teads. "We have just released a new product called Teads True Visits, which is a performance advertising service," says Alban. "The client only pays for the ad if the end user actually visits the site or buys a product, for example."

"It's a completely new revenue stream that is based on being able to connect visits with specific ad campaigns," he continues. "We use BigQuery to make those attributions, to prove the conversion link between the ad view and the visit."

"Our current objective is to develop more new products and formats, as well as forming new premium partnerships with publishers and advertisers. BigQuery helps us to achieve the necessary level of excellence in terms of performance and innovation."

Alban Perillat-Merceroz, Software Engineering Manager, Teads

Supporting business growth

Thanks to BigQuery, Teads is now able to perform data analysis tasks that were previously impossible. "BigQuery is much faster than our previous database: it has opened up the possibility of calculations that previously we would not have attempted," says Alban. "Aggregating data takes only a matter of minutes."

"From the client's perspective, we are offering added value with the additional information reported: revenue by device, by site, by page, and converted into various currencies," says Alban. "From our perspective, because the services are managed, we are able to work with a relatively small analytics team. We can now focus more on business-related issues, not database maintenance. Even though the company has grown a lot over the past two years, our efforts operating data infrastructure has remained stable, as have our costs. That's a big advantage!"

Now, Teads plans to extend its use of BigQuery and Cloud Dataflow to optimize its processes and apply a data-driven approach to new areas of the business. "The team responsible for ad-targeting and user-knowledge information is starting to use BigQuery," says Alban. "We're also working together with Google to improve the way we use the tools. We plan to double the number of ad events processed daily in 2019, so we need to continue to scale up."

"Our current objective is to develop more new products and formats, as well as forming new premium partnerships with publishers and advertisers," says Alban. "BigQuery helps us to achieve the necessary level of excellence in terms of performance and innovation."

About Teads

Teads works with some of the best publishers in the world and distributes advertising to over 1.4 billion people every month within professionally produced content. The company’s end-to-end platform delivers full-funnel, outcome-oriented advertising powered by cutting-edge creative technology and AI-driven optimization.

Industries: Technology
Location: France
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